Federal investigators are probing into a 2017 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report that claimed refurbished trucks emitted significantly more pollution than new models.
The EPA Office of Inspector General (OIG) announced Tuesday that it would look into allegations that EPA officials improperly colluded with truck manufacturer Volvo to conduct a study that found that “glider trucks” – refurbished truck engines fixed in new bodies – emit as much as 40 times the pollution of new vehicles.
The Trump administration is attempting to repeal Obama-era regulations that classified glider trucks as “new motor vehicles” and placed them under a much stricter class of emissions standards. Glider trucks are generally cheaper, though less efficient, than new models, earning the ire of environmentalists and large truck companies, including Volvo. (RELATED: Scott Pruitt’s Parting Gift: Nixing One More Obama-Era Regulation)
After placing a stay on the rule that would put off enforcement until Dec. 2019, the EPA reversed course in June and lifted the stay. EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler lifted the stay following a D.C. Circuit Court ordered the EPA to enforce the Obama-era regulation.
Anti-glider groups and companies have lobbied against the repeal of the regulations, often touting the 2017 EPA study on glider truck emissions. Congressional Republicans asked the OIG to look into the validity of the study, according to The Hill.
The study is rife with problems. The House Committee on Science Space and Technology obtained emails in June that suggest Volvo coordinated with officials in the EPA to protect the Obama-era regulations on gliders.
The also bears no official markings from the EPA and was never peer-reviewed by other researchers or scientists. No senior EPA staff member in D.C. knew about the study before it was completed.
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